The International Interior Design Association (IIDA) has announced Dr. So-Yeon Yoon, IIDA, as its 2014 Educator of the Year. An associate professor at Cornell University, Yoon uses emerging technology in her research to explore the human response to both physical and virtual built environments.
Yoon started her career as an interior designer in South Korea, eventually working as an assistant architect before relocating to Columbia, Missouri, to serve as a designer and CAD administrator. After earning her second master’s degree for environmental design at the University of Missouri, she returned to South Korea to teach at the University of Ulsan’s School of Design. She moved back to the United States to instruct at University of Missouri-Columbia, where she directed the Design with Digital Media program. Yoon holds a Ph.D. in information technology with an emphasis on human computer interaction.
“Her broad perspective on design and on the world at large is impressive, and she’s using that expertise to take her students into new and exciting territory,” Carlos Martinez, principal with Gensler and an award juror, said in a statement. “She’s an integrator who believes in the value of cross-disciplinary thinking, and offers her students a well-rounded understanding of conceptual design, technical expertise, and experiential awareness.”
As educator of the year, Yoon receives a $10,000 cash prize and a complimentary 2015 IIDA membership. She will formally receive the award at the IIDA Annual Meeting on June 8 in Chicago.